Instant Analysis: The Toronto Trade

Sunday, 07.03.2011 / 12:10 PM / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
The Franson/Lombardi trade is a trade that can’t fully be evaluated right now; it’s a set-up move for other options down the line, specifically moving Lombardi’s contract off the books. This move now gives the Preds the flexibility to be active in the off-season market. And the trade also speaks to the tremendous depth of talented defensemen the Preds have accumulated. As much as Franson brought to the ice, he only averaged 15:10 of ice time last season and with the emergence of Jon Blum (who averaged 17:42 during the regular season and 18:51 a game during the playoffs) and return of Francis Bouillon, there was no guarantee Franson would be able work his way into a more prominent role for the Preds in 2011-12.

“Unfortunately Lombardi’s concussion early last season and relatively lack of recovery to date left us in a position of uncertainty heading into this season, which made it difficult for us to plan,” Preds GM David Poile said. “This move allows us more certainty with our roster heading into this season. Now it’s my job to build around the strong core we have in place and when the opportunity presents, I’d like to strike to help make that core even better.”

Nashville’s defense looks impressive with Weber and Suter back at the top pairing, Klein and Blum, a strong pairing for the Preds during the playoffs, a potential second pairing, and Bouillon, a 20:00 a night guy last season, back healthy for the start of ’11-12. Add in Lebda, a playoff-proven battler from his time in Detroit, plus someone from the talented young quartet of Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi and Teemu Laakso and Nashville’s rotation of blueliners should remain one of the league’s elite … with one of the best goaltending tandems in the league backing them up.

Today’s move is more about opening up options to improve the team’s production up front. And keep in mind, Nashville has had significant success finding the correct fits later in the free agency period. Yanick Perreault was a 20+ goal, 50+ point contributor signed late in the 2005 free agency period. J-P Dumont was signed late in the Summer of 2006 and surpassed the 60-point mark in each of his first three seasons with the club. Joel Ward and Sergei Kostitsyn were under the radar moves and both made key contributions during their first season with the Preds.

“We’ve had good success waiting for the right players later in the summer,” Poile said. “We don’t need to just sign someone, we need to sign the right people. Some times that presents itself on July 1, some times it’s September 1. We have time before the season starts and we’ll stay active in looking for ways to improve our team. But we still feel like we’ve got one of the best defenses in the league between the goaltending and defensemen, we’re very comfortable in how we shape up there. There are a lot of things we like about our forwards, but obviously that’s an area we’re going to continue to monitor to see how we can improve, much like we did when we brought in Mike Fisher in February.”



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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